May 23, 2022

Three things we learned from Man City v Real Madrid

Man City beat Real 4-3 in an incredible Champions League semi-final first leg

Manchester City beat Real Madrid 4-3 in an incredible Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday.

AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from a thrilling clash at the Etihad Stadium:

Punching the air both in ecstasy and agony at various times during an astonishing contest, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola rode an emotional rollercoaster on the touchline.

For such an accomplished manager, Guardiola has endured a frustrating time in the Champions League over the last decade.

The Spaniard hasn’t won the competition since 2011, when Barcelona lifted the trophy for the second time in his reign.
His record is littered with painful and unexpected defeats during his City and Bayern Munich reigns.

Guardiola did lead City to their first Champions League final last season, but even then his side appeared unsettled by his curious team selection in a limp 1-0 defeat against Chelsea.

However much he protests, Guardiola would dearly love to silence the critics who remind him of his European failures and that ambition was laid bare in his frenzied reactions to the twists and turns against Real.

Guardiola clenched his fists and wore a wide smile after Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus put City two up by the 11th minute.

But Guardiola saw the worst as well as the best of his scintillating team, with a host of missed chances and some slipshod defending allowing Real back into a tie in which they should have been dead and buried.
.......................
When Riyad Mahrez fired into the side-netting instead of passing to the unmarked Phil Foden who would have had a tap-in for 3-0, Guardiola was incandescent with rage, leaping off the bench as he ranted and raved while flailing his arms in frustration.

City’s profligacy continued in the second half, with Mahrez and Foden guilty of misses that left Guardiola holding his head in disbelief.

With a second leg still to come on May 4, Guardiola will be back on the rollercoaster at the Bernabeu.